Research shows that people who write out specific goals tend to be more successful in accomplishing things, whatever the nature of their objectives. But goals sometimes have a straight-from-central-casting quality: lose weight, exercise more, save more money, etc. They’re nice goals, but are they really the most important ones for you? Goals are more meaningful when they result from your taking stock of where you actually are, which requires you to think about how your life has developed over the past year. Goals are also a good thing to look at come year-end.